WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - A bizarre accident in Walnut Ridge leaves one man dead and another injured after a pick-up truck plows through the police department. Arkansas State Police are still investigating what exactly happened. Tuesday afternoon Region 8 News talked with police and witnesses who saw the whole thing happen. Many were still shaken up, saying it's the worst thing they have ever seen.
"I saw a brown blur go by, and I saw a bunch of smoke. It sounded like a bomb went off and all you could see sticking out the window was the back end of the truck," said Larry Forrester, who owns a muffler shop right next door to the Walnut Ridge Police Station. It was just around lunch time when a tan pick-up truck came speeding down Main Street, ran off the road, hit the railroad tracks, flew airborne, and plowed into the police station.
"You're mind couldn't comprehend what it was seeing and it happened so fast," said Forrester.
Some saying it looked like the truck was going nearly 90 miles-per-hour. "When it landed on the road, it went right through the police station. It never let up. It was just flying," said Larry's wife Frances Forrester, who was walking down Main Street and saw the whole scenario play out.
"It was trying to avoid the cars. If it would of hit any of those cars or anything, it would have hit us too. It was so scary," said Frances.
Many in town gathered at the scene, and pieces of the truck were even scattered around the railroad tracks. According to Police Chief Richy Thatcher, the driver, 37 year-old Brian Allen Davis, was killed in the accident. The only person inside the department was Animal Control Officer Robert Rice, who got pinned down beneath rubble and brick. Rice was later transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and air-lifted to the Med in Memphis.
"I was worried about him. Dispatch gave out that a vehicle had run into the police department and the first words out of my mouth was "have you talked to Robert?" said Thatcher, and says while they are not sure of the extent of the injuries, he does know that Rice had a broken leg and was responsive.
Now the department is just trying to pick up the pieces, and spent the remainder of the day packing files and clearing out any important documents. Thatcher says the building is a total loss. "We're going to have to build a new department. It's an older department. At this time, it looks like the department will be out of service," said Thatcher.
The department will conduct business as usual from the Walnut Ridge Fire Department. Thatcher adds, the insurance company should be out Wednesday to evaluate the damages. We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest information as it becomes available.